Interior Designer Program
How to Select the Best One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Drexel Heights AZ now that you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right program? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the right option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Drexel Heights AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Drexel Heights AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Drexel Heights AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Drexel Heights AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Drexel Heights AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Drexel Heights AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Drexel Heights home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Drexel Heights Arizona.